We recently checked in with the lovely and talented Alex Eppler, Miss Oklahoma 2014. Outside of being Miss Oklahoma, she can be found influencing young minds as a high school science teacher, as well as volunteering in various health clinics around the world – many in the most poverty stricken areas. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Medical Science, this Sooner placed in the Top 10 at Miss America, winning the preliminary swimsuit competition.
KPS: How has being Miss Oklahoma changed you?
AE: Since becoming Miss Oklahoma, I have realized more and more that I am 'enough'. I think so many people (myself for so long) try and be something or someone they are not. I have become less concerned about trying to change parts about me that I maybe did not love/ pleasing people, and more about loving and accepting myself, even though I have to constantly remind myself of that! I have also been changed by people's stories. As Miss Oklahoma, I speak and interact with thousands of kids from all walks of life. Their stories have impacted me probably more than my time has impacted them. I have become more compassionate about investing in young people and more focused on my message, delivery and legacy as Miss Oklahoma.
KPS: What’s the silliest pageant interview question you’ve been asked?
AE: "Sing me the latest song you listened to on your ipod?" to which I busted out in "Stand Out" from A Goofy Movie.. Oh Lord help me!
KPS: What’s the hardest part of your job?
AE: The hardest part of my job is bearing the stories of the kids I talk to everyday. Since my message talks about drug and alcohol abuse and bullying, a lot of students share with me things that have happened to them or difficult situations they are facing. The most trying part of my job is walking away, pretending like their stories don't faze me and knowing that the next school I walk into needs my 'positive energy' and 'inspirational message'.
KPS: What advice would you give to ladies competing this year?
AE: Be EXACTLY who you are. When I was a kid, I used to play the game where you had to fit the triangle block into the triangle hole, the square block into the square hole and the circle block into the circular hole. You cannot fit the square block into the triangle hole. Do not try and change your story, or who you are for who you THINK the judges want. Also I would say to use your local title and pageant week assuming that you are Miss Oklahoma (or any state title). I thought to myself as I competed my last year "How would Miss Oklahoma act in this moment?" "Who would she talk to?" "What would her demeanor be during this event?" When I answered those questions, I acted accordingly. It helped me be more confident in my ability to do the job of Miss Oklahoma, whether I won or not!
KPS: What’s next for you?
AE: I actually just found out today that I have been accepted to The University of Oklahoma Physicians Assistant Program in OKC! I will complete a 30 month program and be able to practice as a PA after I graduate. My parents were extremely happy that I will be using my Miss Oklahoma / Miss America scholarship money to cover my tuition!
KPS: Ok, let's try a few rapid fire questions...Are you a Morning or Night Person?
AE: Morning! There is something so sacred about the sunrise and coffee!
KPS: What is your favorite food splurge?
AE: Chocolate covered potato chips! It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
KPS: Favorite Work Out?
AE: I love doing high intensity interval training when I run (outside of course!). My goal is to sweat at least once every day and this workout ensures that will happen.
KPS: Who is your Celebrity Crush?
AE: Robert Downy Jr! There is something so attractive about his wit and sarcasm.
KPS: What is your Dream Vacay?
AE: I am definitely an adventure person. I like to be 'doing' something when I am traveling or on vacation. I would say going to New Zealand and doing the Zorb ball (google that) or kayaking or hiking or exploring. Don't get me wrong, I love a good sunbathing chair with my toes in the sand, but I just can't stay still for long!
KPS: Favorite song you’ve listened to lately?
AE: I have had 'Rather Be' by Clean Bandit on repeat lately. I have gotten a few looks jamming down the highway singing and dancing to this song!
You can follow Alex's year as Miss Oklahoma at www.facebook.com/MissOklahoma